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Situation in Iran creating anxiety for Americans

Posted at 5:32 PM, Jan 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-08 19:15:57-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — This week many are closely watching the tense situation between American and Iran.

"I think there's a great deal of uncertainty and I think anytime there's uncertainty that causes a lot of folks to feel really anxious," said Dr. Megan Marks, the assistant director for Outreach at the University of Kentucky Counseling Center.

Anxiety is a common feeling amongst Americans right now.

Marks said that polarizing social media posts about a potential war aren't helping either.

"Sometimes when we're on social media, we can feel pulled to engage in dialogues and have strong reactions, and I usually encourage most folks that I'm working with to take a deep breath," said Marks.

Marks also said that people should pause before engaging in online debates because often it's better for your mental health to take a break from social media.

"It's really focusing on things that bring you joy and also things that bring you relaxation," said Marks.

It's important for parents to monitor kids exposure to media on world issues and war too.

"When something major is going on like Iran, talking about that with your family, talk about that with your kids," said Marks. "Where is their information coming from, how do they feel about it? And reminding them that the day-to-day has not changed."

2020 being a presidential election year has also heightened anxiety.

Marks said focusing on things you can control, like voting, can help.

Also be sure to take care of yourself by drinking plenty of fluids, eating healthy foods and getting enough sleep.